Hi. I have A pear question. The pears are green in places but seem to be...

Asked October 16, 2018, 12:33 PM EDT

Hi. I have A pear question. The pears are green in places but seem to be developing a brown skin as they ripen, so I’m not sure what variety they are. My question is why they don’t seem to ripen fully. Even after they fall off the tree on their own they are hard as rocks. Letting them sit at room temperature causes them to rot rather than ripen. Is this something about the variety or growing conditions? Thanks for helping.

Franklin County Ohio

1 Response

I'm not able to identify which type of pear you have from your photo, but this fact sheet from Oregon State University should be helpful in determining when to harvest your pears. It sounds like you may be letting them ripen on the tree too long; this can cause the pears to get a mealy texture. Pears should be harvested when still hard.
From the linked fact sheet:
"To tell if a pear is mature, a general rule of thumb is that, while still on the tree, most mature, ready to ripen pears will usually detach when "tilted" to a horizontal position from their usual vertical hanging position. Bosc pears always are difficult to separate from the spur."
Pears need cold temperatures to fully ripen so should be kept in the refrigerator or other cold storage. Further instructions can be found here:

To help in identifying which type of pear you have, check page 18 of the first fact sheet below which lists the pear varieties that will grow in our area. The second link has photos of several different types of pears. These may help with identification.

If you need further assistance, you could also try contacting your local extension office at:

530 West Spring Street, Suite 275
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Phone: 614-866-6900